Each letter is a masterpiece of reverse theology, giving the reader an inside look at the thinking and means of temptation. Tempters, according to Lewis, have two motives: the first is fear of punishment, the second a hunger to consume or dominate other beings. On the other hand, the goal of the Creator is to woo us unto himself or to transform us through his love from "tools into servants and servants into sons." It is the dichotomy between being consumed and subsumed completely into another's identity or being liberated to be utterly ourselves that Lewis explores with his razor-sharp insight and wit.
The most brilliant feature of The Screwtape Letters may be likening hell to a bureaucracy in which "everyone is perpetually concerned about his own dignity and advancement, where everyone has a grievance, and where everyone lives the deadly serious passions of envy, self-importance, and resentment." We all understand bureaucracies, be it the Department of Motor Vehicles, the IRS, or one of our own making. So we each understand the temptations that slowly lure us into hell. If you've never read Lewis, The Screwtape Letters is a great place to start. And if you know Lewis, but haven't read this, you've missed one of his core writings. --Patricia Klein...Continua
bookshelves: autumn-2013, radio-4, published-1942, philosophy, catholic, satire, abandoned, next
Recommended for: BBC Radio Listeners
Read from November 16 to 18, 2013
BBC BLURB: This week marks the fiftieth anniversary of C.S. Lewis's death, and a memorial stone to the author is due to be unveiled in Poets' Corner in Westminster Abbey.
Book of the Week marks the occasion with a reading of his famous letters from a senior to a junior devil.
Read by Simon Russell Beale Abridged and produced by Jane Marshall.
A Jane Marshall production for BBC Radio 4.
1. In which we start...
...and end of episode 1 is where this gal bails.
Superb writing, however the sly mediaeval subject matter of the devils v the gods is really not for me.
See also Beelzebub's Tales to His Grandson...Continua
By writing of the daily Christian struggle to have Christlike love from the perspective of a demon coaching another on how to tempt, Lewis comes in under the radar of our pride. The book speaks to the struggle of mindset and attitude in even the smallest thing showing how they fit into the larger battle of our souls.
The two most helpful realizations for me were his contrasting genuine charity from self sacrifice and the selfish way we guard what we consider to be "our time"...Continua
C.S. Lewis presents the serious corruptions of the soul and church in a series of humorous letters between the mid-grade "Tempter" Screwtape and his apprentence "Tempter" Wormwood, schooling him on how best to win his "patient" over to their "Father Below"....Continua